Tag Archives: Pinterest

Summer Break, Improvements, Education & A Better Schedule

Is your time getting away from you?  Need more of it? Have you ever felt a need to rejuvenate or needed a really long break?  Or did you need to take time to regroup, rethink some of the plans you have made or needed to make improvements in your life, business, or family?  Come see what we are up to now and how we are handling it!

Hi Y’All,

Welcome! Grab a beverage and come on in and sit a spell.  Wiebke and I are up to some mighty (out of the ordinary for us) plans and time solutions that we just can’t wait to share them with you.

Tea for two

What, When, Where, & Why

Even though winter was lllooonnnggg in Michigan, summer just seemed to rush up on us before we knew it.  School let out, kids home, vacations, canning, field trips, relaxation and the list goes on for the summer.  That doesn’t even include the everyday things that need to get done like laundry, cleaning house, grocery shopping, cooking, errands, repairs and home maintenance and that list also goes on and on and on.

What should we do?  That is one of the nice things about being the boss – we can determine and make executive decisions that work for us.  So, we thought long and hard……

We came up with a win-win solution for Wiebke, myself and YOU! What? We need to find more time?  When? Now! Where? The one place that we could find some give in – our business and mission “The Hard Hat Belles”.  Why? We need to carve out more time in our lives for our family and loved ones and for everything we want to accomplish, but we also want to work on improving our business  – THIS ALL TAKES TIME, TIME, TIME.

Ideas and Improvements

After burning all our brain cells up we finally came up with a solution we are excited about and we hope you find useful too.

Something has to give! One place we scheduled more time from was our business.  Instead of a weekly YouTube and Blog release we are going to film, produce, and edit one video per month.  We have found that each video takes roughly 10 hours to script/film and coordinate and sometimes up to 18 hours to edit and that is only if things run smoothly (which there are always glitches). So what can you expect from us? On the first Friday of the month you can expect a wonderful new style and shorter video from us.  With that extra time Wiebke is Mischievous Wiebkegoing to be working on learning new techniques for filming, editing and spending time with her son and husband.  She wants to take this time out to get better educated in videography. This will allow The Hard Hat Belles to possibly create a couple of channels/playlists with super short DIY/LIY videos on just recipes, Pinterest  flops/successes or crafts – the sky is the limit.  We are still thinking and marinating on that one.  Any suggestions?  Drop us a note in the comments below.

I  will also be limiting our blog releases to once a month – released the same time as our one video.  However, there Happy Denineare other ideas in the works.  I will not be sitting around eating bonbons and reading romance novels…nope, I will be reading about social media, Pinterest, WordPress, monetization and attending webinars to learn more about blogging and how to reach more individuals and give you all what you want!

But to accomplish all this we need your help with ideas on what YOU want to learn or do or see.  Share in the comments below or on our Facebook page – we really do care.  After all -our business is to entertain and teach YOU!

How Can We Help You Find More Time

Does your day just disappear from you? Does time disappear? Feeling overwhelmed? Need help prioritizing ? We also had that problem. In addition to the changes we are making in our business we are also making changes within our “whole” lives.  Clock

I have learned how to schedule my days using an hourly planner allowing for time interruptions and those things that “just pop up”. I schedule all things I want to get accomplished for the day and set a timer on my phone to signal when my time is up to work on those tasks.

While Wiebke and her son, Sidney, who is off school for the summer, are both using day planners in order to get what they want done each day, which gives them a feeling of accomplishment.  This also, allows Wiebke to keep track of how Sidney is spending his day (not just on electronics…blahhahahah).

I have also found that making lists are also a great way to help keep me sane and on track. I make all kinds of lists: groceries, chores, tasks, organizational…..When I make my lists I start with the three most important items that I want to get done on each one everyday.  It keeps me focused and the time stealer away.

We have scoured the web for ideas and have created some really good boards on our Pinterest site to help you.  Everything from being organized, summer schedules, to being productive and more.  Check it out you won’t be disappointed.

Wiebke and I both love Ruth Soukup of LIvingWellSpendingLess.  We own some of her books that have been very helpful from working smarter not harder to unstuffing, purging and organizing our homes and ourselves.  She is a great resource for getting practical advice on managing your time.  I especially like her tip about getting your FROGS out of the way first thing each day – this really does help set the tone for the whole day.  See what she has to say about your FROGS in her article on Filling The Time Jar.

One thought I want leave you with – By purging my house and garage of “stuff” I have less to handle and clean.  I am by no means finished, but you can start small as I did one box, area, or room at a time and eventually it will be done.  Work your way through it by donating, throwing it out or selling the stuff that swamps you.  This makes cleaning, organizing and upkeep easier, less time consuming and less stressful.

To watch more of our fun DIY videos check out our YouTube channel “TheHard Hat Belles” or click  The Hard Hat Belles to go directly there.  Once there like and subscribe to receive notifications of the latest video releases. Or simply subscribe here to see each of our videos within our blog stories. . . .  You’ll be getting two for the price of one!

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MAY YOUR DAY BE SPENT

INSPIRING HOPE

Bible Verse Matthew 11:28

Love & Hugs,

Denine & Wiebke

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Rock and Stone Crafts – Gnomes and Gnome Homes

Did you know that you can color rocks with Sharpie permanent markers? In this video we show off our Gnomes and Gnome Homes as Rock Art. This is a fun craft to do yourself or with your kids during summer vacation. Sit and doodle on rocks, as you soak up the sun!

Hi Y’All,

I can’t wait to get started on today’s topic and craft.  It is a bit of a tongue twister so watch that eye tooth of yours and keep your tongue away so you can see what you are saying.  Grab your cup of stuff and a seat and sit a spell as I weave a story of make believe around you.Tea for two

Magical Worlds

Don’t we all have a little bit of the child in us and think about the awesome world of make believe?  I am one such person – how about you?  I love the idea of fairies, elves, mystical creatures and gnomes.  I know that they aren’t real – but every once in a while I like to let my imagination go a little and think about the “what if’s” in the magical world. Gnome Flowering Village I especially love to let my imagination run wild when I go some place that has all those miniature villages set up. It doesn’t matter if it is located in a store or someone’s garden.  Intelligently, you know no one lives in them (seriously, I do), but my imagination conjures up whole lives wrapped around those villages {sigh of enjoyment}.  Just a peek into the lives of those magical make believe creatures can give me back a little bit of my childhood and a sense of wonder.

Oh, The Displays . . .

Do you know anyone who has one of those magical places on display?  Aren’t they just the most intriguing eye candy?

ARAC Roof tops plus
These are painted (not marker) Gnome Homes

My mom is one of those people who loves gardening and setting up all kinds of statues and fairyland items.  She creates a village of her own and lets her imagination go. She does like her gnomes and she’s not prejudiced – any size, style, make or material works for her.  At any time you might just find a gnome or two hanging around her place. You might find a two foot Mr. Gnome made of plaster standing next to a two inch Mrs. Gnome painted on a rock.  Do you know someone who would love a gnome or two?  Well, we at The Hard Hat Belles have the perfect craft for you to create for yourself or that special GNOME loving someone!

Mystical History

Did you know that gnomes were once one and the same with dwarfs?   Or that they were considered nature spirits – one with the elements?  The New World Encyclopedia website, states that “Paracelsus, a sixteenth century Swiss alchemist identified gnomes

Mixed Gnome Village of paint and markers
Mixed Gnome Village of paint and markers

as a class of nature spirits comprising earth elementals (in contrast to the air, water, and fire elementals). The class of gnomes has been considered to include satyrs, pans, dryads, elves, brownies, and goblins, some helping plants and animals, some helping humans, some reclusive ones staying underground or in dark forests, perhaps hoarding treasure, and others interacting mischievously or even harmfully with humans.”  Check out their website for more interesting facts about where gnomes originated.

Bring The Magical Gnomes Alive

There is a really cute animated movie called Gnomeo & Juliet, that brings the magic of gnomes to life.  A must see for young and the young at heart.

2011 Touchstone Pictures trailer story line: The greatest love story ever told, starring…garden gnomes? In “Gnomeo & Juliet,” Shakespeare’s revered tale gets a comical, off-the-wall makeover. The title characters have as many obstacles to overcome as their quasi namesakes when they find themselves caught up in a feud between neighbors. With plastic pink flamingos and thrilling lawnmower races in the mix, can this young couple find a happy ending?

Gnome & Gnome Home Instructions

1.       Chose your perfect or not so perfect rocks.  I prefer not perfect to give the house or gnome character.RAC Rocks

2.       Gather your supplies:  1 med/fine black Sharp ie, Sharpies of colors you want your house and/or gnome to be, pencil, Mod Podge.

Rock Supplies

3.       Wash your rocks and allow to completely dry (otherwise the sharpies will smear).

4.       Very roughly outline your house details (you do not need to pencil details or the landscaping) and/or gnome with the pencil (not too darkly as you want the sharpie to cover over it).Rock Art Gnome Home Craft Outline

5.        Sharpie in the lighter colors first; your windows with yellow to look like the house is occupied; gnome body color and eyes. You get the idea.Rock Art Craft Gnome HOme

6.       Next sharpie in the main color of the house and body of the gnome around all the other details.  Don’t worry about getting right next to the other colors as you will come back later and outline them in black.ARAC Step1fillhouse

7.       Sharpie in the door and gnome with any unique details you wish to add.  Finished gnome home

Gnome Outline

8.       Touch up any missed or messed up areas – some flaws of the rock will make it uniquely yours.

9.   Allow to completely dry – preferred 24 hours.

10.   Paint on two coats of Mod Podge allowing each coat to dry in between completely.  This will seal your Sharpie workmanship.Mod Podge Coats

11.   Gnome and Gnome home complete.

Disclaimer

Now all you need to do is find that special gnome and gnome home a permanent home.  Please share with us how your Gnomes and Gnome Homes turned out below in our comments.

To watch more of our fun videos check out our YouTube channel “TheHard Hat Belles” or click  The Hard Hat Belles to go directly there.  Once there like and subscribe to receive notifications of the latest video releases. Or simply subscribe here to see each of our videos within our blog stories. . . .  You’ll be getting two for the price of one!

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May Your Day Be Spent 

Inspiring Hope

Bible Verse Matthew 7:24

Love & Hugs,

Denine & Wiebke

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How to Make Kale and Quinoa Salads – Fruit vs Greek

The Hard Hat Belles will show you how to prepare two delicious salads with Quinoa and Kale as base. Quinoa contains about 15% of protein and Kale is known for its detox properties. Combining these two turns them into the dream food for any vegetarian (and even if your not!). You are sure to enjoy these salads this summer!

Hi Y’All!

With summer coming on we decided it would be very refreshing to show you how to make some unique salads using kale and quinoa.  I have to say that KALE is my new go to salad leaf.  So, grab your drink and a seat and let’s make some salads.

Tea for two

TROUBLE IN KALE LAND

When Wiebke and I started looking for a different type of salad to create for you – I had a very reluctant reaction to the thought of using the kale.  Why you ask?  Well, it all started a few years ago when my husband was diagnosed with cancer and we were trying to do all things healthy.  We got a special juicer and did research on the best produce for the best juices.  Kale was at the top of the list.

Unbeknownst to us was that the stomach flu was making it’s vicious way through our family.

You guessed it!  The day we decided to start off with a very healthy  CLEANSING kale juice (and of course it had to be a large 20 oz), and the flu decided to collide.  Let’s just say it wasn’t very pretty around our house for about a week and everything reeked of kale….ugh.

So, when Wiebke found some kale and quinoa recipes and we discussed them – I was very hesitant.   But she was very interested to experiment with kale and combine it with quinoa.  I have to say these two salads really changed the way I think about kale and quinoa now.  Kale really is the new lettuce in my household and I am besotted with quinoa.  I am completely converted .  Still not sure I’d try another kale juice though. . .

Hail The Kale

Once we learned the magic of making kale more tender and beautiful to boot it was up hill from there.  You’ll have to read the recipes to discover the magic yourself.  To me, kale has a flavor  similar to fresh spinach, however, it is much milder.  The other bonus that I love – is that it lasts so much longer than ice berg, Romaine, or Leaf lettuce in your refrigerator.

I have had it on homemade pizza, tacos, nachos, sandwiches. . .  anything and anywhere I might use lettuce.  I am totally sold and we hope you will be too.

Why Kale?

The potential health benefits of kale are amazing and really worth the effort to investigate.  The US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health’s scientific article on . . . Green Vegetable Juices suggests that kale may even be beneficial in the role of preventing degenerative diseases, including cancer and cardiovascular diseases.  For additional  information and a different perspective on kale, check out the Kale: Health Benefits, Uses and Risks  article written by dietitian Megan Ware, RDN,LD.  Even if you are not looking for health benefits the evidence has shown that kale can help with weight loss as well.  I am anticipating my own weight loss eating more kale and drinking more water with our Motivational Water Jug! Let’s go get our KALE fix!

Quinoa – The Ancient Protein Wonder

Quinoa has been around for thousands of years and is gluten-free, packed with protein and according to the Ancient Harvest website a nutritional powerhouse.  To me it is a healthy alternative to calorie packed pasta and rice.  I like the nutty type flavor quinoa has and it adds a wonderful texture to salads.  I can’t wait to try it in place of pasta and rice in some of my recipes. To learn more watch the video below.

Take a tour of the Ancient Harvest website to get tons more information on quinoa – from the history on quinoa to recipes and where to buy it.  You can also hop on over to the  Authority Nutrition website to read an article – 11 Proven Health Benefits of Quinoa (No. 1 is Best) May 2016, by Kris Gunnars, BSc (Bachelor’s degree in medicine).  He talks about 11 reasons why we should embrace quinoa into our diets from health benefits to losing weight.

Another good source of information is Jen’s Reviews post on quinoa.  You will find some more facts and delish recipes to try out.

To learn more about powerfoods that are easy to use with awesome benefits visit the cookingdetective.com and read their article on 23 Superfoods To Add To Your Diet For A Healthy Life.

Psst. . . I didn’t realize it until Wiebke showed me how, but quinoa is so easy to cook and much quicker than rice! Just look at the pictures below to tell when it is cooked.

Raw uncooked quinoa on the left. The germ has popped on the right, which means the quinoa is cooked.
Raw uncooked quinoa on the left. The germ has popped on the left which means the quinoa is cooked.

Kale & Quinoa Salads

Do you want to know how to get more kale and quinoa into your everyday meal menu?  We have a start for you!  It is with these two awesome salads!

Fruit-Nut Salad:Kale & Quinoa Salad

Ingredients: Kale, quinoa, apples, mandarins, dried cranberries, blueberries, honey, lime juice, olive oil

  • Rinse 1 cup Quinoa under running tap water, place in pan, add 2 cups water and boil for 15 minutes. You’ll know the quinoa is done when the germ pops out and the quinoa has a translucent color. Cool off the quinoa.
  • In a small bowl mix lime juice, honey and olive oil. Add this to the chopped and de-stemmed kale.  Massage the dressing into the kale (see video).  **See magic note below.
  • Add cranberries, mandarins, apple, blueberries and almonds (or anything that suits your fancy).
  • Finally, add the cooled off quinoa and toss all ingredients together.  Absolutely delish!

Greek Salad:Quinoa and Kale Greek Salad

Ingredients: 2 cups water,1 cup quinoa, 1 cup baby kale (or regular), stems removed, ½ cup cherry tomatoes, quartered, ½ cup cucumber, diced, ¼ cup red onion, minced, 2 tablespoons kalamata olives, 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped, 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, ⅛ teaspoon salt , ⅛ teaspoon pepper, feta cheese for topping

  • Rinse 1 cup Quinoa under running tap water, place in pan, add 2 cups water and boil for 15 minutes. You’ll know the quinoa is done when the germ pops out and the quinoa has a translucent color. Cool off the quinoa.
  • In a small bowl mix lemon juice, and olive oil. Add this to the chopped and de-stemmed kale.  Massage the dressing into the kale (see video). **See magic note below.
  • Add chopped cucumbers, diced tomato, chopped parsley, sliced olives, diced red onion.
  • Add the cooled off quinoa and toss all ingredients together.
  • Finally, top with crumbled Feta Cheese. And the Greek Quinoa Kale Salad is ready to enjoy!

**Magic Note: This is how the kale is transformed from a cabbage texture to a softer one.  When I am using kale in other recipes or with other food, such as sandwiches, I simply use a small portion of extra virgin olive oil and massage away.

Note: Disclaimer

And there you have it! Two delish kale and quinoa salads to chose from.  For more delish THHB recipes click here. Let us know which one you preferred in the comments below.

To watch more of our crazy videos check out our YouTube channel “TheHard Hat Belles” or click  The Hard Hat Belles to go directly there.  Once there like and subscribe to receive notifications of the latest video releases. Or simply subscribe here to see each of our videos within our blog stories. . . .  You’ll be getting two for the price of one!

Please subscribe to our blog here or above.

May Your Day Be Spent

Inspiring Hope

Bible Verse Proverbs 15:17

Love & Hugs,

Denine & Wiebke

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Personalized Hammer: An Easy Quick Gift For The Tool Loving Man (or Woman) In Your Life

THHB Personalized Hammers

Are you stumped as to what to get for your husband, your Dad, or grandpa as a Father’s Day gift or any tool loving person? Stick around and we will share how to make a practical personalized gift for the tool loving people in your life! The cool thing about this gift is that you can use (with permission) the wooden handled hammer your husband, Dad or grandpa already has in his toolbox.  So go ahead and nail this project to impress the them!

Hi Y’All,

Come on in and have a seat.  Would you like coffee or tea?  Please help yourself.  With Father’s Day coming up, we thought we’d should you how to create your very own Personalized Hammer for your loved one!

Tea for two

Personalized Hammer

 

Father’s Day is fast approaching and Wiebke and I wanted to give you a quick , easy, inexpensive craft that you or the kids can make for that special man in your life.Peonie and wooden hammers

We truly think that all those fathers, grandpas, or significant males in your life will love the “personal” aspect of this craft as you can make your message specific to each of them….And by the way – this isn’t only for males!  If you have a tool loving woman in your life any wooden tool that can be sanded will work too! The same method will work.

Who Represents Your Father Figure

I think all of us at one time or another has had a male figure in our life that has influenced who we have become.  Mine was my father.  Who was yours?

Understanding Dad

I really didn’t understand my dad until I was much older and had children of my own.  Don’t you think that seems to be the case for most of us? My dad was grew up in a generation where you were considered a good and successful father if you provided a roof over your family’s head and enough food to eat.  You know  those fathers – the generation of fathers who grew up watching Leave It To Beaver, Father Knows Best or Make Room For Daddy. I have to say that Dad was a VERY good provider.

From This Child’s Perspective

Success as a father was measured differently during those days compared to today.  Now fathers are much more involved in the raising of their children, often times sharing equal time and participation with the mothers. I don’t know about your house, but in our house my father was a huge presence.  I was small and he seemed SO tall and his voice was deep. He would go to work, come home and we’d eat dinner at a specific time. Then he would nap on the couch afterwards because he worked long hours. My dad wasn’t a person who was big on showing affection with his children.  We had a sense that he cared and loved us, but there wasn’t a lot of sitting on his lap to read stories or for cuddle time.  Do you think it might have had something to do with having six children and finding the time?

Dad’s All Grown Up

As I grew older Dad seemed to grow up or I should say my perspective grew up and I started to connect with him on a different level.  I think as we become adults we start seeing our fathers as men with personalities instead of this big presence in our lives who was just a provider.  All of a sudden it seemed to me that he became very interesting and he had opinions I was interested in hearing.  His sense of humor was wonderful and could be contagious and appreciated.  He got smarter too! My dad wasn’t perfect,  but he was Dad, who did the best he could. He passed away in May 2010 and I miss him.

Who was your major male influence?  Was it a brother, uncle, friend, step-father or father? Did they grow up too when you grew up?

I would like to leave you with this piece of advice.  Life truly is short and we really do not how long we have with our loved ones.  Please work hard (because life is not easy) to cherish those loved ones every single day!

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY TO DADS EVERYWHERE

Personalized HammerPersonal Hammer Supplies

To make this easy gift, all you need is a hammer with a wooden handle, some fine grit sandpaper, damp paper towel, permanent markers, Mod Podge, a foam brush, and some ribbon or raffia. If you are not confident of your handwriting or printing you can use stencils or stickers instead of the permanent marker.

  1. Sand down one side of the hammer’s handle to rough up and wear down the clear coat.Sanding the hammer
  2. Use a damp paper towel (or rag) to wipe off the sandpaper dust. Make sure the handle is clean and dry for the next step.Personalized hammer sanded
  3. Take the permanent markers and write out your message. (VeeBee is a control freak, so she did a few practice runs to make sure she would have her spacing just right.)Write out personal message
  4. Brush a coat of Mod Podge over the written message.  Let the Mod Podge dry for 15-20 minutes and brush on a second layer and set aside to dry.Add Mod podge to personal hammer
  5. Tie a bow around the hammer and you are ready to give a special Father’s Day gift.Completed personalized hammers

Disclaimer

And there you have it! Please let us know how you nailed this project in the comments below.

To watch more of our crazy videos check out our YouTube channel “TheHard Hat Belles” or click  The Hard Hat Belles to go directly there.  Once there like and subscribe to receive notifications of the latest video releases. Or simply subscribe here to see each of our videos within our blog stories. . . .  You’ll be getting two for the price of one!

Please subscribe to our blog here or above.

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May Your Day Be Spent

Inspiring HopeBible Verse Psalm 68:5

Love & Hugs,

Denine & Wiebke

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Healthy Grilled Avocado & Cheese Panini

WITHOUT BUYING  A NEW GRILL

Hi Y’All!

We have been so busy at The Hard Hat Belles cooking up some yummy sandwiches.  Grab your drink and a seat and we’ll get down to the nitty gritty details on how to make a healthy Panini sandwich by using your waffle iron, George Foreman (or similar), or sandwich maker.Tea for two

My Introduction to the Panini

I was introduced to the home made Panini when I started hanging out with Wiebke.  I have had a Panini at the Panera Bread restaurant before, but since Wiebke has been making a very healthy Panini during most of our shoots I have to say hers are just AWESOME!!  I am totally  hooked and I am never going to look back.

Equipment Needed for the Perfect Panini

Griddles and Grills

When I started paying attention to the way Wiebke makes her grilled Panini I was amazed at how simple it was.  The little grill she uses was purchased by her husband as a gag gift from the Salvation Army.  Her family has a Christmas tradition that involves a trip to the Salvation Army every year.  Their tradition involves a set amount of dollars spent and contingencies on the item purchased.  I know one of the years revolved around the gifts being a certain color (I think red).  Another year they had five minutes to find the gift;  I believe that is the year she received the grill. 

Needless to say, you don’t have to purchase a special Panini Sandwich maker like the ones Kohl’s sells to make these delish Panini.  You can just use your existing George Forman or similar (which is what I use) or some waffle griddles you have around the house. 

More Panini Ideas & Suggestions

Grilled Avocado and Cheese PaniniAbove is the picture of our Avocado & Cheese Panini, but your imagination is the limit.  Wiebke often times make a Panini out of cheese, tomato, healthy lunch meat and onion.  I have even made a few myself , yes me! My personal favorite recipe is Tuna fish mixed with cheddar cheese sauce – yummylisous! The point is that you can use your imagination and add or remove ingredients that appeal to you. 

Make sure to check out our Pinterest site for our recommended Panini ideas and below are a few more suggestions (Although these sandwich recipes below are cooked on top of the stove  try using Wiebke’s Panini method and add a few twists yourselves).  Be prepared to be blown away with texture and flavor!

  • Pepperoni, mozzarella, pizza sauce, Parmesan, whole-grain bread by Rachel Gurk
  • Smoked Salmon, dill, goat cheese, ciabatta by Deanna Samaan
  • Goat cheese, prosciutto, Dijon mustard, whole grain bread, goat cheese, Anjou pear by Lia Huber
  • Cooked peeled sweet potato, Havarti, kale, granny smith apple, whole-grain bread by Maria and Josh Lichty
  • Brie, dark chocolate, raspberry jam, raspberries, sourdough by Monique Volz

The Grilled Avocado & Cheese Panini Recipe

Panini Recipe

  • No need to use any kind of oils, butter or margarine on the Panini bread on non stick grills as this is the healthy aspect of Wiebke’s Panini
  • Preheat your grill
  • Lay out the bread slices on the cutting board (we used 9 grain)
  • Place a slice of cheese onto each slice of bread
  • Remove pit and slice the avocado
  • Slice tomatoes
  • Add sliced avocado, sliced tomatoes and salt & pepper to one half of the bread and cheese slices.
  • Top with remaining slices of cheese and bread.
  • Set the timer for approximately 3 minutes
  • Allow to cool for about a minute then slice
  • Disclaimer

Please subscribe to our blog  (you will get both the video and blog update) or above so we can keep you up to date on what crazy stuff we have been doing.

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For words of encouragement (just because we know life can be tough) check out our Inspiring Hope page.

Bible Verse

Love & Hugs,

Denine & Wiebke

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QUICK AND EASY APRIL FOOL’S DAY PRANKS N’ TRICKS

 

Hi Y’all,

We are just having a huge laugh here at The Hard Hat Belles and we are glad you can join us.  Go get that cup-o-stuff that gets you through the day and grab a seat and let’s watch Wiebke at her April Fool’s Day pranking best.

Tea for two

April Fool’s Day Prankster

Wiebke loves April Fool’s Day as it allows her to get even crazier than her normal fun loving crazy.  I was out of town last year, but I am sure she has something waiting for me this year.  So, I plan to be on the lookout!

I have to say that I feel for her husband, Kevin and her son, Sidney.

Cereal and Bug Prank
Wiebke literally put bugs in and resealed the bag and box

Wiebke has told me about some of her past antics and it just cracks me up.  The one I love the best is the amazingly look alike dog poop prank she found on Pinterest.  Wiebke and

Cereal and bugs galore
Poor Sidney

her sister, Burni took cardboard toilet paper inserts and made them to look like dog poop.  They preformed this maniacal act the night before while all in the house were safely (or so they thought) tucked in bed.  As they created their magic dog poop prank in the quiet of

Eggs and vegetables made with a few simple ingredients
Eggs and vegetables made with a few simple ingredients

the night there were no witnesses to be found as to why they constantly snickered.

After creating their devious magic dog poop and adding some water for extra effect, they placed it right next to the refrigerator.  Wiebke (April Fool’s prankster #1) knew her husband’s routine so well – so she placed the evidence where he wouldn’t quite notice it, but where it would be within his foot traffic.

A Family Breakfast
Family meal of fake  chicken wings, baby carrots and celery

When Kevin got up for work the next morning and went to the refrigerator ……. yep………he stepped in it.  Well, let’s just say that their poor dog got the first brunt of his reaction (verbally), while Wiebke laid in bed rolling with laughter.

Over the years she has pulled her April Fool’s Day pranks on her family and any susceptible victims she could and can find.

This year we wanted to share this very quick and easy fake bacon and egg meal with you.  This is guaranteed to be a hit with your family after you prank them with it!

VeeBee and Ddenine eating fake eggs

April Fool’s Day Fake Egg Prank Recipes

For the white chocolate miniature eggs you need:

White chocolate egg
Miniature white chocolate and yellow M&M Peanut egg

White chocolate candy melts or bark, yellow M&M’s (we used the peanut M&M’s, but they now have these really big over sized M&M’s), spoon, wax paper or parchment paper, baking sheet, microwavable bowl, and  a microwave oven.

  • Cover a baking sheet with wax paper.
  • Add ½ cup white chocolate melts (or bark) to a microwavable glass bowl.
  • Next, stick the bowl into the microwave for 30 seconds on high, stir and repeat at 20 second intervals until all chocolate has melted – you want it to be a very liquid texture (warning – be careful not to overcook it).
  • With a spoon, apply a mound of white chocolate onto the wax paper. Making sure it is shaped like a fried egg.  We swirled the white chocolate to shape (as no egg is perfectly centered-or at least not mine).White chocolate egg white
  • Add a yellow M& M for the yolk slightly off to the side pressing lightly.

Place M & M into Fake egg white chocolateWhite Chocolate Fake Egg Prank

  • Wait for the chocolate and M&M to get firm then remove carefully.April Fool's Day Prank removing fake egg

For VeeBee’s healthy April Fool’s egg you need:

Yogurt & apricot egg
ŒYogurt & apricot egg

A plate, a spoon, some Greek yogurt, and canned apricot halves.

  • Spoon the Greek yogurt onto a plate, shaping it into a fried egg white shape.
  • Place the apricot half on the “egg white” shape.  You will want to look for the best “egg yolk” looking apricot half.

Special Bonus: Fake Bacon Recipe

You will need:

Caramels and mini Tootsie Rolls (adapted from Pinterest pin-stop in here to get the link – they have awesome step-by-step pictures to show you).

  • Take one caramel and one Tootsie Roll.
  • You can warm them up or let your hands do the job.
  • Place the caramel on top of the Tootsie Roll.
  • Roll them together.
  • Slice them lengthwise.
  • Place them together side by side
  • Roll them one final time
  • Form them to look like bacon.

April Fool's Day Prank with fake bacon

Extra Special Bonus: Miniature Fake Egg Recipe for Peonie

A super small skillet or plate (or even put them on cupcakes!), a spoon, some Greek yogurt, and mini yellow M & M’s.

  • Spoon the Greek yogurt onto a skillet or plate, shaping it into a fried egg white shape.
  • Place the the mini yellow M & M on the “egg white” shape slightly off to the side for a real look.

Fake egg with M & M's and Greek yogurtPeonie's April Fool's Day Prank fake egg

Disclaimer

Whether you plan to trick, prank or just have fun with your family and friends (big, little, or super little), these recipes are sure to be a hit once they get over the fits of laughter.

To watch more of our crazy videos check out our YouTube channel “TheHard Hat Belles” or click  The Hard Hat Belles to go directly there.  Once there like and subscribe to receive notifications of the latest video releases.

Please subscribe to our blog here or above so we can keep you up to date on what we have been doing.

[wysija_form id=”4″]

Please let us know how your April Fool’s Day pranking went below in the comments or you can post them to our Facebook page by clicking here.

Prv 8:11

Love & Hugs,

Denine & Wiebke

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Decorate Easter Eggs – Minions, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, & The Hard Hat Belles

Decorating Easter Eggs With Character

Hi Y’all,

Come on in and see what we’ve been up to with Easter Egg decorating.  We have all the details y’all need below. So grab your cup-o-stuff and a seat and we’ll get started.

Tea for two

I have always loved decorating Easter Eggs. When my kids were very little I got to shine with my creativity because they had very little interest in decorating other than to color the eggs.  They loved to dunk the eggs in those lovely rainbow colors (later they moved on to stickers and crayons).  I would have to limit their dunks per egg as they felt the more colors the egg was dunked into the better -you know where you end up with a greenish brown yuck color.  We usually ended up with a lot of those anyway.

As time moved on they ended up taking over the Easter egg decorating as their own creativity had taken over.  Where I once reigned I was now regulated to an observer position and if I was fortunate they would ask my opinion once in a while (which drizzled to zilch eventually).  Then I was regulated to the “ooh” and “ahh” position.

To Decorate or Not To DecorateMinions and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Now that all my kids are grown and busy with their own lives I have been sitting here thinking about “should I” or “shouldn’t I” decorate Easter eggs this year?  Seriously, it’s not a third world problem and probably not a one world problem; but hey – it’s my little world.  I really hadn’t given it much thought until Wiebke and I filmed the video Minion and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Character Easter Eggs (Whew! Pretty long title – say that fast ten times).  Then the “decorate Easter eggs” bug hit me.  I think it is more the memories that are generated when my kids where younger than anything else.  On the other hand, I do like to craft and create and as an extra bonus – I like boiled eggs.

I started thinking about all the different designs on Google, Pinterest, and some magazine websites I looked through (like Real Simple). The decorate some Easter eggs bug is there, but do I have enough time to do it myself.  I have decided that a day or two before Easter I will see if my super busy schedule allows me enough time.  That way I have taken the pressure off and have given myself permission either way.

Egg Safety

In our video and the directions below we used some empty plastic eggs I had laying around my house.  These eggs will last FOREVER!  But if you do like I do and boil “real” eggs to decorate; you will want to know if your raw eggs are fresh and still safe to eat.  Check out this pin  we pinned to our Yummy and Easy Recipe board on Pinterest to find out.

Supplies Needed For Super Easy Character Eggs

Character Easter Egg Supplies

Plastic Easter eggs (blue & yellow for Minion; green for TMNT; pink for THHB), colored washi tape (or any tape of choice cut to 1/8″-1/4″ width), scissors, glue dots (or Elmer’s glue or a glue gun), a black sharpie marker, and wiggly eyes.

For Minion Eggs

  • Take the plastic blue and yellow eggs apart.Minion Character Egg Parts
  • Mismatch them, putting a yellow top and blue bottom together.
  • Cut pieces of black tape off  to fit around the egg stretching slightly as you go (we used two hands).Character Minion black tape applied
  • Stick the tape towards the top of the yellow half for the Minion glasses strap.
  • Using glue dots (or glue of choice) attached wiggly eyes into place.Character Minion wiggly eyes applied
  • Take the black sharpie marker to draw on hair and a mouth.Use Black Sharpie to apply

For Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Eggs

  • Take the plastic green eggs leaving them together.Character Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • Cut pieces of tape (orange, red, blue & purple) off  to fit around the four different egg heads (Michaelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello).Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle washi tape applied
  • Place the tape around the middle of the green egg stretching slightly as you go (we used two hands).Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles eyes
  • Using glue dots (or glue of choice) attached wiggly eyes into place.

    Michaelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello
    Raphael, Leonardo, Donatello, Michaelangelo

BONUS: For The Hard Hat Belle Eggs

  • Take the plastic pink eggs leaving them together.
  • Print out THHB (or your) picture on plain printer paper.
  • Cut picture out carefully.
  • Brush on Mod Podge to back of the  picture and place on egg.
  • Let dry.
  • Add wiggly eyes.
  • Modpodge over picture and egg once to seal

    TheHardHatBelles.com
    Peonie, THHB, DDDenine, VeeBee

Disclaimer

To watch more of our crazy videos check out our YouTube channel “TheHard Hat Belles” or click  The Hard Hat Belles to go directly there.  Once there like and subscribe to receive notifications of the latest video releases.

Please subscribe to our blog here or above so we can keep you up to date on what we have been doing.

[wysija_form id=”4″]

If you have any comments about how your Decorated Character Easter Eggs  turned out or other ideas for us to try, please let us know below in the comments or you can post them to our Facebook page by clicking here.

Verse Psalm 16:8
Œ

Love & Hugs,

Denine & Wiebke

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Coffee Filter Hacks – Without Using Coffee

Need more time in your day? Do you like short cuts or cheats?  We do too!  Our coffee filter hacks will have you looking at your coffee filters differently from now on.

 

Hi Y’all!

Welcome to The Hard Hat Belles little world on the web.  We are all about doing DIYs, LIYs, Crafts and Recipes with a great deal of laughs and fun.  So grab that cup of coffee (just because it is coffee filter hacks today and I LOVE my coffee!), pull up a seat and learn how you can use those coffee filters to make and take some short cuts to leave you more time for your busy life.

Tea for two

When I was younger I really wasn’t much of a coffee drinker so I really had no need to learn about coffee or those paper coffee filters. I would drink it occasionally while socializing, but I can honestly say that I don’t really remember liking it much then either.

I can’t remember when I began to enjoy coffee.  I think it was somewhere between my husband, Bill, who was a truck driver and drank coffee by the truck loads and my need to fill it full of sugar and milk.  Somewhere down that road I started drinking coffee every morning and throughout the day……..I do draw the line at drinking it after six because I really can’t afford to stay awake until four in the morning. So I learned more about coffee and coffee filters.

Eventually, I began to look forward to my coffee.  Now I take it with flavored creamer (yea, tons of sugar there too).  My favorite is International Delight Hershey Chocolate Caramel Creamer.  What’s your favorite way to drink it (leave a comment below)?  For me it is the only reason to get up in the mornings……yea for coffee! Seriously, I am not a morning person and I need that cup of Java for a boost. However, I do have to drink decaffeinated though or you can just wait  and peel me off the ceiling and walls later.

Today we are publishing a video and this blog dedicated to the almighty coffee filter.  Did you know that the difference between the white and brown coffee filters is that the white ones have been bleached. For more information on that and the history of coffee filters (interesting story) stop by the driftaway.coffee website.  White or brown – coffee filters have a lot of uses that they can be used for besides brewing that special cup-of-stuff for you. We’ve listed several ideas for you, but let your imagination go and see how many different uses you can come up with.  Remember you can also check out Pinterest and Google for more ideas. Let us know in the comments below.

Coffee Filters

  • Wipe down windows and mirrors lint free (wet & dry)
  • Wrap cut celery stalks in a coffee filter before putting them in a plastic bag to store in the refrigerator – keeps them fresh longerSprouting Seeds
  • To sprout seeds, dampen a coffee filter, place seeds inside, fold it and place it into a zip-lock plastic bag
  • Clean hands of dirt if you forget your garden gloves
  • Doing something to get sweaty? Awesome to wipe sweat, dirt and oils off your face.
  • Keep some in your pocket when walking your pet for quick clean upsPlanter strainer
  • Use in the bottom of a planter to block holes that allow dirt to trickle through
  • Use as disposable bowls for individual snacks
  • Great for holding hot dogs and tacos together (especially for little hands)
  • Keep a package in your car in place of napkins or paper towels (and they are sturdier)
  • Wrap Christmas decorations inGlasses Sunglasses
  • Get those finger prints off your glasses/sunglasses lint free (my fav)
  • Use in place of cotton balls removing nail polish (lint free-no more strings of cotton)
  • Use as a disposable cover in the microwave
  • Use as a potpourri holder for dressers and closetsSpice bag
  • Put flavorings (bay leaves, woody herb stems, etc.) in a coffee filter, tie with string, and stick in soup while cooking for quick and easy removal later.
  • Multi purpose camping tool (every camper should have them on hand)
  • Use as a strainer (for tea, pulp & seeds from juice)Compost
  • And finally they not only work great on the bottom of the compost container to keep it all together, but the coffee filters are earth friendly (biodegradable)
  • THHB Disclaimer

Want More of Us?

It Began With Two Women

To watch more of our fun DIY videos check out our YouTube channel “TheHard Hat Belles” or click  The Hard Hat Belles to go directly there.  Once there like and subscribe to receive notifications of the latest video releases. Or simply subscribe below to see each of our videos within our blog stories. . . .  You’ll be getting two for the time of one?

May Your Days Be Spent

Inspiring Hope

Bible Verse Luke 11:41

Love & Hugs,

Denine & WiebkeTHHB Logo

 

Amazingly Simple Zip Tie Hacks

Bible Verse Colossians 3:14

Hi Y’all!.

Welcome to our little corner of the web world.  We are just feeling peachy that you made it in time.  Grab your cuppa stuff – grab yourself a seat and we will explore the world of zip ties.

Tea for two

My husband Bill always loved to have zip ties (some people call them cable ties), on hand. He’d have them in his tool box (several), on his work bench, in his truck, and even in his fishing tackle box.Bunch of Zipties

I swear that man would invent things just to be able to use a zip tie. My husband use to say that I was the duct tape (or as he said duck tape) queen.  If I am the duck tape queen then he surely was the zip tie king.

In our household we have used them for keeping wires organized on all our gaming systems to zipping a hidden key away to mending wire closet shelves to using it as a curtain hook replacement.  I have to say that I can see where his love for them comes from.  They are so Zip tied wire racksversatile, easy to use, and inexpensive. Not to mention that they are pretty strong as well.

 

Truthfully, with zip ties and your imagination the possibilities are unlimited.  Let’s face it…if cops can use them for handcuffs then we should be able to use them everywhere – okay, not everywhere – but you get the idea.  Plus (happy dance), they come in an amazing variety of colors, thicknesses and lengths!

Peonie zip tying

At The Hard Hat Belles we decided to explore our own creativity to see how many different things we could use them for…. So stick around and see what we have come up with!

THE MANY USES OF ZIP TIES

  • Replace a curtain hookPotted plant zip tied
  • Keep wires together
  • Mend closet shelves
  • Hide keys in unusual places
  • To help hang a picture frame
  • Stake plants in the garden or in a pot
  • Loop around a hanger to hang/separate scarves or ties
  • Keep broken mirrors attached to your car
  • In place of shoe laces
  • Make a key ring (or repair one)
  • To attach items to each other
  • Child proof the house
  • Holding outdoor Christmas decorations in place
  • Repair chain link fence or chicken fencingJacket zipper replacement
  • Repair backpacks (possibly purses)
  • To hang things from
  • Unlimited survival uses (i.e. splints)
  • Broken zipper replacements (or belts)
  • Use to color code
  • THHB Disclaimer

To get an idea on how to use the zip ties and to see how versatile they are check out our video here.  

You can also get more ideas at our Pinterest site here.

To get updates on The Hard Hat Belles blog please fill out the form (above at the top and to the left)to subscribe to The Hard Hat Belles blog.

If you haven’t already checked out our YouTube channel “TheHard Hat Belles,” you can find us at our YouTube channel TheHard Hat Belles.  Once there like and subscribe to receive notifications of the latest video releases.

If you have any comments about zip ties, short cuts or ideas, please let us know below in the comments.  We’d love to hear from you – truly.

Love & Hugs,

Denine & Wiebke

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Fun, Simple, Quick Valentine’s Day Craft – Tile Plaque

Bible Verse Proverbs 18:24Welcome back to The Hard Hat Belles way to DIY (do it yourself) and LIY (learn it yourself).  Do it, learn it and laugh!!

If this is your first visit, you are in for a treat! Please grab your favorite cup-of-stuff, sit back, kick your feet up and enjoy.Tea for twoI love Valentine’s Day – don’t you? Although I think each day should be Valtentine’s Day.  Seriously, it shouldn’t take just one day a year for us to acknowledge or love on our loved ones whether it is a husband, boyfriend, friend, kid, mom or dad. We should do it everyday that we have with them.

I think I am especially sensitive to this since I lost my husband a little over a year ago.  I wished I could have hugged him more and told him more how much I loved him…..how special he was to me.  We didn’t spend 32 years together just because we had to; it was because we cared and loved one another.  We were partners. Not mine or yours, but ours as that old Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda movie went. Life is tough enough when we go it alone, but in this business of living together and raising a family as one unit their needs to be a partnership as God intended.

Okay – I am going to rant a bit if you want to put your hands over your ears right now. I don’t understand some of today’s generation. This mine or yours stuff….never ours?  You know what I am talking about – it usually revolves around money –  separate checking and saving accounts. Or you each have YOUR own bills to pay – separately. Or buying groceries separately with YOUR own money.  I am not saying all relationships are that way, but I have run into this mind set within my own family, friends and contacts.  It’s crazy if you ask me.  God created us to be dependent on each other. Can you just picture Adam telling Eve – That’s not your rib, it’s mine and I want it back?  Or it’s your fault I ate the apple so you deal with this problem – it’s not mine! Or Eve telling Adam since he ate the dang apple he can suffer all those ridiculous labor pains! Hilarouious, isn’t it. It shouldn’t be your money or my money – it should be our money regardless of who is making it and paying the bills.  It is those tough times as well as the good times that build the relationship into a lasting memorable one. Those battles that are unique to “our” relationship. If we are not partners and we start with a “mine” or “yours” how can we make things work out for the best “together?”

Just a quick unpaid for plug – The Dave Ramsey Financial Plan is awesome.  Wiebke and I both went through the program with our husbands at different times and it really made a difference in how we each looked at finances and our spouses.

Anyway, enough about my thoughts and onto some really fun crafting time.  These Valentine Tile Plaques are super easy to do alone, with a friend, your child or grandchildren. Wiebke and I had a blast!  Check us out HERE.

Do you like Pinterest and Google?  Sometimes, we come across ideas on Facebook that one of our friends will have posted and we just have to give it a try.

Peonie, Wiebke and I LLLOOOVVVEEE to check out Pinterest or Google when we are looking for ideas or ways to do something differently and then of course we put our own unique spin on it.  The Valentine’s Day Tile Craft is one such idea.  We checked out a few different Pinterest and Google ideas and put our own unique spin on it.  We hope you love it as much as we do.Peonie Barbie Wannabee and PlaquesThe instructions for the Tile Craft are listed below, but first we did find a few things we tried that did and didn’t work out (failed).

  • We tried the rolling pin idea that someone else posted to roll out the bubbles the paper makes…..complete fail as it tore the paper while it was wet with Mod Podge.
  • We really liked using the hot glue gun to put the buttons on as it dried really quickly and we could build on the design.  I just recently used a “cool” glue gun at my son, Jason’s house for a craft with my grandkids and I think that is my new favorite thing to use.  I was forever burning my fingers with the hot glue gun as I was always in a hurry for instant results.
  • For faster drying results a fan on the project will definitely cut down on your drying time.  Can you tell I like things done quickly?

Now on to the actual crafting (rubbing my hands together).

 ITEMS YOU WILL NEEDValentine's Day Tile Craft Supplies

Ceramic tile – the size is up to you.

Scrapbooking papers – use your imagination (tissue paper, gift wrap, construction etc).

ModPodge – you can purchase it or search Pinterest/Google for homemade.

Bling/Ribbons/Lace – This is where you can get really creative (buttons, beads, various ribbons, gems, small fabric flowers etc).

Sponge brush (we found that this leaves less streaking on craft projects).

Hot or Cool Glue Gun (you can also use tacky glue or white school glue – it just takes longer for drying period).

Scissors (you can use a variety of different cutting styles and tearing techniques).

Acrylic Spray Sealer (optional).

Please use caution when using the hot glue gun, scissors and acrylic spary sealer. Please see disclaimer here.

  • Cut one sheet of scrapbook paper(s) to the size of the tile. You can use different sizes of paper to create a unique design as well. You can be creative and use special scissors or even tear it.
  • Cover the whole tile with Mod podge, using a sponge brush. Place the paper on top of the tile.  Press out all the bubbles as best as you can.
  • Cover the scrapbook paper(s) with another layer of Mod Podge and let it dry for about 30 minutes.
  • ŒAttach ButtonsUse a hot glue gun (or your choice adhesive) to attach buttons, lace, bling etc. to the tile.
  • If you want to add a sealer, you can use an acrylic spray sealer to finish off the tile, however that is optional as the Mod Podge seals very well on it’s own.
Completed Craft Tile
Œ

To get updates on The Hard Hat Belles please fill out the form (above at the top and to the left)to subscribe to The Hard Hat Belles blog.

If you haven’t already checked out our YouTube channel “TheHard Hat Belles,” you can find us at our YouTube channel TheHard Hat Belles.  Once there like and subscribe to receive notifications of the latest video releases.

If you have any comments about this craft, short cuts or ideas, please let us know below in the comments.  We’d love to hear from you.

Love & Hugs,

Denine & Wiebke

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